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Quake victims to get P20 million aid from House

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives has donated some P20 million in aid and 5,000 food packs to the victims of the 6.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Southern Mindanao last Friday.

Speaker Martin Romualdez and Tingog party-list spearheaded the move in line with the directive of President Marcos for concerned authorities to promptly address the needs of affected families and individuals.

P10 million worth of medical assistance for indigent patients from the Department of Health and another P10 million for individuals in crisis under the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will be released to the lone districts of Sarangani and South Cotabato, according to House Deputy Secretary General Sofonias Gabonada.

Construction materials will also be sent to the affected residents for the repair and rebuilding of their homes damaged by the earthquake.

Gabonada added that an initial 5,000 relief goods are to be equally divided between the two districts by the Tingog partylist teams.

Romualdez’s office is also closely working with the Department of Public Works and Highways and district lawmakers to facilitate the immediate release of quick response funds (QRF) to rehabilitate the affected public structures like bridges and school buildings.

Meanwhile, some P1.47 billion worth of food and non-food items have been allocated by the DSWD for the victims of the earthquake.

According to DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchallian, the agency has enough stockpiles of these supplies “as well as standby funds that could be readily used to augment the resources of the local government units (LGUs)” affected by the quake.

Some P14.2 million QRFs are also ready to be utilized from the DSWD field offices in Northern Mindanao, Davao and Soccsksargen, where the tremors were felt, according to DSWD spokesperson Assistant Secretary Rommel Lopez.

Lopez said the DSWD’s Central Office has P29.16 million in QRFs, which the department can also use to assist victims.

The DSWD also has 140,000 family food packs and non-food items on standby in the affected regions, Lopez said.

Aside from the provision of resource augmentation, the field offices of DSWD are also assisting the